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REDEYE 8/29/18

Racist government poisoned kids’ brains to cut costs
NYT Book Review, 8/5 (“What the Eyes Don’t See” By Mona Hanna-Attisha) — …In April 2014,…the mayor of Flint, Michigan,….switched Flint’s water supply from a tested and reliable source…to a cheaper and untested one, the nearby Flint River….defend[ing] the move as necessary cost-cutting….
[It] led to one of the biggest public-health disasters of our time. The water from the Flint River turned out to be highly corrosive, causing the city’s old pipes to leach lead into the drinking water. Lead…cause[s] irreversible damage to human brains and nervous systems, especially children’s. Yet in Flint, a predominantly African-American city, nobody worried too much about it….Water tests were done haphazardly. Officials rigged data and intimidated activists. Thousands of kids drank water that may have permanently harmed their brains.
This is the story of a government poisoning its own citizens, and then lying about it,” Mona Hanna-Attisha writes….“what happens when the very people responsible for keeping us safe care more about money and power than they care about us, or our children….Analysis of Flint residents’ blood tests proved indisputably that they were being poisoned…a crime of tragic proportions….
Children in…Flint…[have a] life span…15 years shorter than that of a child born in a neighboring suburb…. “A group home for abused and neglected kids…had a water-lead level over 5,000” parts per billion….(The…mandated action level for lead in drinking water is 15 parts per billion.)….The white mayor of Flint to the public-health officials…claimed that ensuring safe drinking water was not their responsibility.
Middle East: Women domestic workers suffer slave labor, torture; fight back
NYT, 8/7 (op-ed, Laura Secorum) — From Lebanon to Saudi Arabia, many employers view domestic workers, a large majority…women, as servants who do not deserve the freedom to leave the house or even the right to rest….
…A body of a Filipino worker was found inside the freezer of an abandoned apartment that belonged to her employer in Kuwait. Last year, an employer in the United Arab Emirates was found guilty of torturing her Indonesian domestic worker and causing her permanent deafness….
…Much of the Arab world…operate[s] within an…exploitative structure — the “kafala” system, which places a domestic worker entirely at the mercy of her employer. She is not allowed to leave her employer or the country without the employer’s consent. Escaping is a crime, punishable by arrest and deportation….
…There are about 1.6 million female migrant domestic workers in the Middle East and Gulf region….Recruitment agents focus largely on profit, which leads to…migrants paying exorbitant fees….
In Lebanon, where abuse is rampant, domestic workers have already set up a union….The government…[is] denying the organization legal status and deporting its leaders.
Capitalism’s private prisons for caged immigrant children = billion-dollar business
NYT, 7/31 (op-ed, Scott Stringer, Javier Valdés) — The Trump administration’s decision to separate migrant children and their parents…and its anemic efforts to reunite families…have been widely condemned as cruel. But the president’s so-called solution — to imprison immigrants as families in detention centers — is equally abhorrent.
This policy, which will undoubtedly cause immense human suffering, has one clear beneficiary: the private prison industry.
In recent decades, private prison operators have opened centers to detain immigrants and their children. This means…when a mother escapes life-threatening dangers in her home country and arrives in the United States only to be imprisoned in one of these centers, they profit. When a family seeking refuge here is put behind bars, they profit. When a new center needs to be opened…they profit.
This industry has turned human suffering into a billion-dollar business.
…Conditions in private prisons are dismal….A report from the A.C.L.U. uncovered evidence that people held in private prisons were denied access to functioning toilets and proper medical care and served inedible food, and had no opportunity to challenge…use of solitary confinement….
Private prisons’….bottom line depends on locking people up….These companies have a financial interest in perpetuating the inhumane “zero tolerance” policies….
Israeli rulers make racist apartheid the law
NYT, 7/31, (op-ed Sayed Kashua) — …The Nationality Law….says Israel is a Jewish state….
…The law that Israel’s Parliament passed this month without using terms like “racial segregation,” “discrimination” and “supremacy”….[means my] 12-year-old…is a citizen of a state that holds that he is inferior because of his non-Jewish origin….When Israel was founded on the ruins of the Palestinian people in 1948, it was defined as a Jewish state. The Palestinians who…became Israeli citizens…have always been viewed as an undesirable demographic burden and subjected to discrimination...The new law….has turned de facto racism into de jure racism.
The law seeks to legislate [that]…non-Jewish minorities…will never be equal….[and] by law will, by definition, reject any minority member…even if…fluent in its culture,…writes literature in its language, respects its laws, serves its society….
The Nationality Law…rejects any collective…memory other than the Zionist one…revoking Arabic’s status as an official state language….Article 7 of [the] law…has a distinctly colonialist tone, addressing Jewish settlement without any mention of the 20 percent of the population who are Arabs and who live in crowded conditions and under continuous threat of having their land appropriated.

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